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Designing interactive technology for crowd experiences - beyond sanitization

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesis

This dissertation concerns the topic on designing interactive technology for crowd expe- riences. It takes the outset in the experience-oriented design approach within interaction design, exploring the research question how can we conceptually understand and design interactive technology for crowd experiences? Through theoretical studies of sociological crowd theory and pragmatist perspectives on experience combined with design exper- iments at sporting events this dissertation establishes an conceptual understanding of crowd experience. The outcome of this work is furthermore synthesized in a conceptual model of social experiences that presents crowd experiences as a distinct type of social experience. This is different from what previously have been explored within experi- ence-oriented design. This dissertation is composed of four research papers framed by an overview that summarizes and crystalizes the arguments made in the papers. The contribution of my dissertation consists of three highly intertwined parts all concerning how to understand and design interactive technology for crowd experiences.
The first and primary part of the contribution is a conceptual understanding of crowd experience within interaction design. This dissertation introduces an understanding of crowd experience as a distinct type of social experiences driven by non-rational behavior. This conceptual understanding is established in the intersection between sociological crowd theory and a pragmatist perspective on experience. In particular, I point to imitation and emergence as two central behavioral crowd dynamics that promotes the experimental qualities of a sense of a we-phenomenon and a capricious potential in the crowd. The theoretical and empirical work is crystalized into a conceptual model of social experience within experience-oriented design that provides designers and researchers with an awareness and vocabulary of crowds’ distinct sociality, when designing inter- active technology for crowd experiences.
The second contribution of the dissertation is a perspective on spectator experiences that goes beyond sanitization. The domain of my experimental design inquiries is at sporting events. From extensive theoretical studies and my empirical explorations I present a perspective on modern and professionalized sporting events as sanitized, where the spectator experiences and technology are being produced, controlled, and organized. The spectator is considered as a consumer of the sporting event rather than as an active participant. I stage the potential to explore the active participation of crowds when designing technology-supported spectator experiences at sporting events as an alternative to sanitization.

The third part of the contribution of this dissertation is the experimental prototypes and concept designs developed through design research activities. These experiments should be considered as conceptual explorations that in partnership with my concep- tual understanding of crowd experience provide potential suggestions for interactive technology for crowd experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages214
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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